The inspiration for "She Loves Me Not," the first single from Papa Roach's upcoming album, Lovehatetragedy, didn't come easy to frontman Jacoby Shaddix. The track is about his sometimes-turbulent relationship with his wife, Kelly, who recently gave birth to their first child, Makaile Cielo Shaddix.
The chorus, which includes the lines, "I don't know if I care/ I'm the jerk/ Life's not fair/ Fighting all the time/ This is out of line/ She loves me not," illustrates the stress of trying to juggle your relationship and your band.
"I feel like anything I do is just not enough," Shaddix, formerly known as Coby Dick, griped last week from his home near Vacaville, California. "But you can't fight it. You just gotta fold, man, and that's the hard thing."
Once they choose a director and a treatment, Papa Roach will shoot a video for "She Loves Me Not," a song they recorded for the demo that got them signed and which they intentionally left off of their 2000 breakthrough, Infest.
"It just didn't fit the record," Shaddix said. "It was more of a rockin' rock song. Toward the end of Infest, we wrote 'Between Angels and Insects' and 'Never Enough,' which were more rockin' songs, and that was the direction the band was moving in. So 'She Loves Me Not' fits this record. It's got enough of the old flavor in it from the last record, but it's got a new side of the band that people haven't really seen, and that's the super-melodic side. But it's still hard and aggressive."
Shaddix said the band has already decided on "Time and Time Again" as the second single from Lovehatetragedy. Like "She Loves Me Not," the track addresses the singer's marital woes, although this time from his wife's perspective.
"Every day I gotta do an interview or go to band practice, and she's just like, 'There's no time for me. You're so selfish,' " he said. "It just sucks when your loved ones don't think that what you do is actually a job. They just think, 'Oh, you're gonna go hang out with your friends and play music and party.' Well yeah, we play music, but that is my job and it's a 24-7, 365 [-days-a-year occupation]. If I go out to dinner, I'm still Coby Dick to people. And I don't mind busting my ass and doing this all the time, but then when the loved ones around you go, 'Well, isn't there some time for me?' it just makes me go, 'Oh, sh--!' "
Shaddix described "Time and Time Again" as a propulsive tune driven by a funky beat, a "grimy" verse and a ripping guitar riff that evolves into a "super-epic mega-rock chorus." He added that it draws from the band's punk rock influences, including Refused, Bad Religion and At the Drive-In.
Papa Roach created Lovehatetragedy with the expedience of a punk band on a low budget. The entire disc was recorded in 50 days with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine) at Royalton Studios in Los Angeles and Southern Tracks in Atlanta.
"I've got ADD [attention deficit disorder], man, so I'm glad it went fast," Shaddix said. "We worked really hard, and it just paid off. Brendan is into working high-paced, and that was good for us. I'd rather work my ass off for 50 days and then be able to take some time off than be in the studio forever. But we didn't overanalyze everything. We just committed to stuff, put it to tape and moved on."
The track list for Lovehatetragedy, according to Jacoby Shaddix (running order not confirmed):
- "She Loves Me Not"
- "M-80 (Explosive Energy Movement)"
- "Life as a Bullet"
- "Time and Time Again"
- "Walking Through Barbed Wire"
- "Decompression Period"
- "Born With Nothing, Die With Everything"
- "Singular Indestructible Droid"
- "Black Clouds"
- "Code of Energy"